Shell slammed for force-installing 4,000 pre-pay meters despite £32bn mega-profits

5 May 2023, 03:43

Shell were slammed for their swelling profits while forcing pre-payment meters on their customers
Shell were slammed for their swelling profits while forcing pre-payment meters on their customers. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Oil giant Shell involuntarily fitted over 4,000 pre-payment meters last year - despite making £32 billion in profits, an investigation has claimed.

Reporters from the i newspaper said that government figures show 4,145 controversial pre-pay meters were installed by Shell - in the week that the record profits were announced on the back of shy-high wholesale energy prices.

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps said the figures show a horrifying picture for the energy company, weeks after Ofgem announced new restrictions on the practice of forcing customers onto the meters.

Last week, all household energy suppliers agreed to a new code of practice which bans forcibly installing prepayment meters in homes where all residents are aged over 85.

The oil giant made £32bn in profit this year
The oil giant made £32bn in profit this year. Picture: Getty

All suppliers in Great Britain will sign up to the new code of practice, after an investigation by The Times found some companies were breaking into the homes of those struggling with bills to install the pre-payment meters.

At the time, Jonathan Brearley, chief executive officer of Ofgem, said: "Ofgem's new voluntary code of practice is a minimum standard that clearly sets out steps all suppliers must take before moving to a PPM (prepayment meter).

"If and when involuntary PPMs are used, it must be as a last resort, and customers in vulnerable situations will be given the extra care and consideration they deserve, over and above the rules already in place, by suppliers - something that has clearly not always been happening.

Read More: No ‘systemic’ problems at British Gas, but review finds four cases of wrongdoing

"This new code of practice means, for some people, PPMs should never be installed, and, for high-risk groups, their energy needs must be protected with a higher level of consideration.

"We expect the overall number of involuntary PPM installations will fall over time, and we recognise that a careful balance is required to help manage debt, while protecting customers in vulnerable situations.

"The Guardian reports suppliers must make at least 10 attempts to contact a customer, as well as visiting their home for a "site welfare visit" before the controversial device can be installed.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking News

Baby girl mauled to death in dog attack at family home in Coventry

The tourists trying to stop Stonehenge being vandalised

Moment hero tourists grab Just Stop Oil spraying paint on Stonehenge, as activists 'damage rare lichen'

Anthony Hill disappeared on Monday morning

CCTV images show last sighting of Martin Lewis' MoneyExpertSaving colleague before going missing on 37th birthday

Pollen bomb explodes across UK as extreme hay fever sufferers warned to stay indoors with windows closed

Pollen bomb explodes across UK as extreme hay fever sufferers warned to stay indoors with windows closed

Charlie Cosser

Teenager who murdered Charlie Cosser on dance floor at party identified for the first time as judge lifts anonymity

Police rammed the cow

Cow rammed by police 'charged at people' before officers repeatedly hit it with car, watchdog says

TK Maxx and Homesense recalled the products found to contain insects

TK Max and Homesense recall tea products found to contain insects

Brits are set to enjoy some warmer weather soon

Exact date UK temperature 'to reach mid-30s' as British summer finally arrives with heatwave

Britney Spears has broken her silence on her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake's shock arrest as she toasted 'the little things' in life

Britney Spears breaks silence on ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake's shock DWI arrest as she toasts 'little things' in life

Putin has visited North Korea

Putin and Kim share 'pent-up inmost thoughts' as Russian and North Korean leaders vow to forge 'multi-polar world'

Comedian Victoria Vera Blyth was killed by her husband David Thomas Blyth

Chilling words of TV star killed by British husband in final interview before tragic murder-suicide

Just Stop Oil protesters have targeted Stonehenge

Eco activists Just Stop Oil desecrate Stonehenge with orange spray in latest radical climate protest

Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages

Sick fraudsters create fake GoFundMe page for Brit teenager missing in Tenerife

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon

Jury dismissed in trial of fugitive aristocrat Constance Marten in baby manslaughter case


Sir Ian McKellen breaks silence after horror fall from stage in front of West End audience

John Swinney Launches The SNP's General Election Manifesto

SNP vows ‘major investment’ in the NHS as it launches manifesto - read key pledges